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battle-axe, the family weapon, murdered a leading Sayyia
who protested against the act of sacrilege. This atrocity
was his last. The whole city rose against him ; he was
captured and sent to Teheran, and there by a cruel death
expiated his crimes.
The Expulsion of the Afghans from Narmashir and
Sistan.—The district of Bam, which was the scene of the
downfall of Lutf Ali Khan, was governed by a chief of
the Ghilzai tribe, who also ruled Sistan and the date-
growing district of Khabis. Under Path Ali Shah this
semi-independent ruler rebelled but was ejected without
much difficulty, and the districts of Bam, Narmashir, and
Khabis were restored to the province of Kerman. The
Afghan occupation has not been forgotten, and I have
been shown a tower which they built in Narmashir.
French Overtures to Persia^ 1802—1804.—The schemes
discussed by the First Consul and the Tsar were soon
translated into French action. In 1802 overtures were
made by France, apparently through her active Consular
Agents, who, according to Rawlinson," remained in Syria
after the French evacuation of the country, and continued
for many years to pursue a restless course of political
adventure, spreading in the sequel a perfect net-work of
intrigue over the whole face of Western Asia." These
pioneer attempts were coldly received in Persia, but in
1804 the French Government made proposals for an
alliance against Russia. Fath Ali Shah had already
applied for help to England through the Resident at
Baghdad, and was also despatching a mission to India,
and consequently no definite reply was sent to the French
The First French Mission, 1805.—In 1805 war broke
out between France and Russia, and a French envoy,
Colonel Romieu, appeared at Teheran with more precise
proposals. Knowing that the loss of Georgia had affected
Persia deeply, Napoleon offered, if the British alliance were
repudiated by the Shah and India were invaded by a
combined French and Persian army, to throw an auxiliary
force into the lost province and to subsidize the Persian
army. Fath Ali Shah was most unwilling to come to such
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